Critic’s Pick: Rodney Graham at Donald Young Gallery /

Rodney Graham


10.10.08-11.14.08 Donald Young Gallery

In his sixth solo show at this gallery, Canadian conceptualist Rodney Graham continues to curiously rework historical moments. Rotary Psycho-Opticon (all works 2008), a replica of a sculpture used by the band Black Sabbath, combines the illusory, dizzying effects of 1960s Op art with an acid-trip-inspired bicycle ride. The work comprises a ten-foot-tall slab of black-and-white aluminum printed with a dot pattern; one must push the pedals of the silver bicycle positioned behind the piece to activate a second sheet of star, swirl, and dot patterns that, when in motion, creates a pinwheel-like effect. This psychedelic piece references both the first LSD bicycle ride—taken in 1943 by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann—and Graham’s homage to that event, which appeared in his 2001 film installation The Phonokinetoscope. Nearby, the artist stacks music-equipment boxes with the artwork’s title printed on the front, suggesting the portable nature of the work.

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